It has now been four days since all flight traffic over the northern Europe was cancelled due to the volcanic ashes from the explosion on Iceland. The airspace is still closed over: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, UK. It is partly closed over: Italy (northern airspace closed until Monday) and the flights are operating in: Greece, Portugal, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Spain.
In the meantime the news broadcasts hundreds of articles and TV programs about people being stuck who are going to- or leaving from cities in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.
Obviously a lot of the stories focus on sensation – like four French business men who were stuck somewhere in Denmark and "had to" hire a taxi to get home to Paris for 15.000 crowns (2700 USD). But really my question is: What happened to people’s logic? Did it disappear with the availability of cheap flight tickets?
Before the days when we were all able to pollute the atmosphere with CO2 (from flights) on a regular basis, we used to travel on buses and trains: OVERLAND TRAVEL. Doesn’t anyone remember that?
There are still regular buses and trains connecting all the capital cities in Europe!!! I understand that you can be "stuck" if you are travelling to or from Asia and South America. But to say that people, who are "merely" travelling from Paris to Copenhagen, are "stuck" is ridiculous.
Google "bus Europe" or "train Europe" and you will get thousands of entries. I went to the following website: http://www.bahn.de/i/view/GBR/en/index.shtml This website combines all train travel all over Europe – from the very South of Barcelona to the north of Norway.
I decided to figure out how long it takes to go from Copenhagen to Paris. Well I can leave tomorrow morning at 07.45 from Copenhagen and will get to Paris tomorrow evening at 20:53. The trip takes 13 hours and 8 minutes. That’s 10 hours more than flying. But honestly – we are NOT "stuck" in Europe. It’s such a small area that being stuck is for the most part more a question about comfort.
Thomas and I travelled for 9 months in South America. We did all our travel overland. This often meant 20 hour bus journeys and as you can imagine travelling from Guatemala to Bariloche in Argentina overland takes many hundreds of hours in buses. I never thought about flying.
I do sympathise with people who have engagements to attend to etc. But why not use this opportunity to reduce your carbon footprint and get back down to the ground – take the train or the bus in Europe 🙂